First, can we just get out of the way how cute this couple is? This is who and where I want to be when I grow up.
Today's post isn't so much about the act of caregiving but the actions of caregiving. I keep coming back to the idea in my previous post about just being.
As family caregivers there is so much to be doing. Noticing health changes, managing medications, coordinating doctor's visits, handling unexpected issues (wait - you know the list, why am I reminding you of everything you do during the moment you've just taken for yourself to read this post?!).
We are always doing, doing, doing. When do we ever take the time to just be?
When I was in the middle of caregiving there was never time to think, reflect, rest or dream. If I ever did find myself thinking, I was thinking about being anywhere but where I was.
I keep thinking about the act of just being in my life. I can hear you, "Sure, Colleen, it's easy for you to just 'be' now that you aren't actively caregiving." And I wouldn't blame you. I would have said the same thing when I was actively caregiving. But just look how happy this couple is just doing nothing. I hear it coming... "But, Colleen, they aren't caregivers." Maybe they are. Maybe he cares for her. Maybe, cropped out of the photo, a sink full of dirty dishes sits. Everybody always has something else they could be doing.
What if, the next time the need to do something arrives, you decide to do the opposite and just sit and do nothing. Try it for just 5-minutes the next time you are in the doctor's waiting room with your caree or alone at your desk. Don' t pick up a magazine or your look at your phone. Build up to a half an hour or maybe more. Try it for a week, a month or season. I promise that all you need to get done will get done. But the doing of those things will feel different after your practice of being.
At the end of the day, I never ever miss how sparkly clean I was able to make my dad's wheelchair. But I do miss the moments we spent outside just being together.
And as I look at the couple in this photo, I hope that with my continued practice that I will one day be sitting with my sweetie, just being. Being happy. Being loved. Being in love. Being together.
Gotta go switch the laundry now.
Oh wait, no I don't. It can wait 5-minutes!